Sunday, May 30, 2010

Windows Live Writer

(I am in no way being compensated for posting this.  This is just my own opinion.  By using this software, or taking my advise in anyway, you do so at your own risk; i.e.- I ain’t responsible.)

Found a nice tool that some of you bloggers out there might find useful as well…Windows Live Writer.  It is part of the Windows Live Essentials programs.

This is a free tool from Microsoft that you can use to write, post and edit your blog entries.  It works with Blogger, Windows Live, Wordpress, LiveJournal, TypePad and others.

Now how many times have you just about completed that awesome post that was sure to win you a Bloggie Award or a Blogger’s Choice Award when you lost your connection and it was gone?  This tool allows you to write your post even if you are offline.  This can be VERY useful for those of you that find yourself with a less-than-idea internet connection (like the back of the parking lot at the truckstop).  With this tool, you don’t have to worry about losing your post if you lose you internet connection.  You can save it to your computer and post it later when you get a better connection.

I’ve used it for a few post (including this one) and it is really easy to use.  Now my experience is, of course, with Blogger, so I can speak of how it works with some of the other blog sites, but the integration of features is really nice.  When you connect it to your blog the first time, it will look at your layout so that it can show you a preview of what your blog will look like when you post it.  It will pull in your ‘labels’ so you can select ones that you’ve previous created or you can create new ones.

So far I haven’t found any features from Blogger that I can’t do from within Windows Live Writer.

Now, if you are interested in trying out this little program, it can be downloaded from here.  The Windows Live Essentials installer program will also give you the option to download/install some other programs but you do have the ability to select what you want and what you don’t want to install.

Below are the system requirements as listed on the Essentials:  System Requirements page.

Windows Live Essentials require the following:
Operating system: Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (32-bit edition only), Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit editions), Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit editions), or Windows Server 2008.
Note
Windows Live Movie Maker and the slide show feature of Windows Live Photo Gallery are not supported on Windows XP.

Processor: 1 GHz or higher for Windows 7 or Windows Vista; 800 MHz or higher for Windows XP.

Memory:
512 MB of RAM for Windows 7 or Windows Vista; 128 MB (256 MB or more recommended) for Windows XP.

Resolution:
Minimum 1024 x 768

Internet connection: Internet functionality requires dial-up or broadband Internet access (provided separately). Local or long-distance charges may apply.

Browser: Windows Live Toolbar requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, or Internet Explorer 8.

Graphics or video card: Windows Live Movie Maker requires a video card that supports DirectX 9.0 or higher, and Shader Model 2.0 or higher.

Additional requirements
The following components are needed for specific Windows Live programs, and may be installed for you if they’re not already on your computer.

For Writer: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or higher*

For Photo Gallery: SQL 2005 Compact Edition and Windows Imaging Codecs*

For Photo Gallery and Movie Maker: Some components of DirectX9.

* Not required when installing on Windows 7 or Windows Vista.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

R.I.P. Mr Hopper

As you may have already heard, Dennis Hopper passed away today at the age of 74. Film and TV have lost one of the greats. Rest In Peace, you will be missed.



Dennis Hopper
May 17, 1936 - May 29, 2010
R.I.P.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Watch Out For Them Animals

Hey, be careful out there. You never know when an animal is going to come out of no where. Most of the time, there isn't anything you can do about; it is how you handle things after it happens.

Salena over at 'The Daily Rant' got a deer on Saturday. Her and Ed are OK. They got some damage to the bumper of the truck which just missed their steer tire. Things could have been a lot worse. God was looking out for them.

Ruthann over at 'All Things Bradbury' had a wild turkey end up in their driver's side windshield shattering it. Her and Brad are OK. Luckily Ruthann wasn't hurt by the flying glass. Once again, things could have been a lot worse. God was looking out for them as well.

I'm glad they are all OK.

I hope everyone out there stays safe and you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

‛Tis the Season to Review Work Zone Safety

Saw this over on the J.J. Keller web site and thought it was a good idea to post it.  We all (truckers and 4-wheelers) need to remember to be safe in work zones.

{Source}

 

Posted May 3, 2010

‛Tis the Season to Review Work Zone Safety with your Drivers

In 2008, there were 720 fatalities and 40,000 injuries in work zones. With road construction season in full swing throughout the country, now is a good time to review work zone safety with your drivers.
The following are some work zone safety tips you can share with your drivers.

  • Stay alert. Full attention should be on the road.
  • Slow down and follow the posted speed limit. As well as being one of the major causes of work zone crashes, many states have enhanced their fines and penalties for exceeding the speed limit in a work zone.
  • Maintain a safe following distance. Don’t tailgate. Anticipate sudden stops.
  • Avoid sudden lane changes. Do not change lanes unless absolutely necessary.
  • Expect the unexpected. Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
  • Obey road crew flaggers. A flag person has the same authority as a regulatory sign. A driver can be cited for disobeying a flag person’s directions.
  • Keep up with the traffic flow. Maintain a smooth traffic flow by merging as soon as possible in advance of a lane closure. Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and try to barge in.
  • Practice good trip planning and time management. Schedule enough time to safely make the trip. Stay informed on current conditions. Remain patient. Stay calm. If possible use an alternate route.
  • Maintain a safe distance from construction workers and equipment. Use the lane furthest from the work zone when possible.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

MSNBC.com: Opportunities in trucking? That's a big 10-4

So what do you think? Is the truck driving industry going back to it's old tricks of hiring cheap labor or has freight actually picked up enough that new drivers are needed or has too many experienced drivers left the industry or maybe a combination of all three?

*** Edit:  added the poll results below ***

Poll Question:  Is the trucking industry going back to hiring cheap labor?

0 (  0%) - Yes
1 (33%) - No, the freight has picked up
1 (33%) - No, too many experienced drivers have left
1 (33%) - All of the above
0 (00%) - I don’t know

{source}





MSNBC.com


Opportunities in trucking? That’s a big 10-4
Hiring is increasing and attracting many who have seen careers dry up
By Anne Wallace Allen
The Associated Press
updated 6:06 p.m. ET, Wed., May 5, 2010



Porfirio Colindres has worked in construction and cleaning jobs long enough to weather several economic downturns, starting with 1989 when he moved to the United States from El Salvador. But the prolonged one where he now lives, near Boise, Idaho, has made steady work hard to find since 2007.

This month, after a 150-hour course, Colindres earned his commercial driver's license, or CDL, and started looking for a truck-driving job.

The hiring outlook is improving for trucking, experts say, and it is attracting many people from fields where jobs have dried up. As many professions become more specialized, truck driving continues to require few classroom-based skills.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, median hourly wages for heavy truck drivers were $17.92 in May 2008. But drivers don't even need a high school diploma to be hired.

"The trucking industry doesn't require it, and we don't," said Robert McClanahan, director of Central Tech Transportation and Safety Education, a public truck driving school in Drumright, Okla. "We do ask that they have a certain math and reading level, about sixth or seventh grade."

Applicants for truck-driving jobs do need a relatively clean driving record, a stable work history, some mechanical ability, and the strength and stamina to drive for long stretches and help with loading and unloading cargo if needed.

And they must be prepared to be away from home, unless they can land a coveted short-haul driving job.

"When you have a family ... you deal with a lot of guilt because you're probably not going to be there for every special occasion," said Alice Adams of Austin, Texas, a transportation writer and author of several guidebooks and manuals for truckers.

Trucking was hit hard in the recession. "This is one of the strangest times I've seen in my 40 years" in the industry, said McClanahan. "We've seen a lot of trucking companies go out of business. Trucking has always had a need for good drivers, and here all of a sudden they've had a freeze on hiring. It's just been a strange situation in the past year and a half."

But things appear to be turning around. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall growth of 9 percent in truck driving jobs between 2008 and 2018. Since the trucking market nationwide is huge, that's significant, representing about 291,000 new jobs. Trucking is one of the largest occupations in the country, with 3.2 million jobholders.

Industry observers also see business picking up. Orders for Class 8 trucks — the largest tractor-trailers — rose 28 percent this March over March 2009, said Clayton Boyce, a spokesman for the American Trucking Associations in Washington, D.C.

"What that means is we'll be pressured to hire more and more drivers," said Boyce. "Predictions are there may be a real capacity shortage."

McClanahan, whose school saw its student body drop from 600 to 300 during the recession, said hiring suddenly increased at the beginning of April.

"The companies were trying to hire the really good experienced drivers, and they've been able to do that for the last year," he said. "But now that pool has dried up. Now they're starting to come back to the schools looking for entry-level students."


That's also the case in Michigan, where unemployment hit 15 percent in March.

"In the last 90 days, things have picked up, and employers are much more favorable to entry-level students than they were, say, a year ago," said David Wehman, coordinator for the truck-driving program at Baker College, in Flint.

In Idaho, where Colindres is job-hunting, truck-driving jobs are expected to grow 17.5 percent by 2019, faster than the national average. That's because of an expected increase in agricultural production, said John Van Dyke, an economist at the Idaho Department of Labor.

So who is applying for trucking jobs now?

McClanahan, a former truck driver, says most of his students are men changing careers in their mid-40s. Many have at least some college.

"We've had people in here with master's degrees," he said.

Ralph Dean, who runs the truck-driving program at the College of Western Idaho, a community college near Boise, has seen many builders come in lately. He also has taught a lot of people from Micron, a Boise microchip maker that laid off about 3,500 workers in 2008 and 2009.

"They've got a great background," Dean said. "But they're used to being home every night, so this is a real transition. There is good money but they've got to be gone to make it."

That's a problem for Colindres, who has three children, two in elementary school. He doesn't want to spend nights away from home. But "if there's nothing else, I'll do what I have to do," said Colindres, who left school at 10 or 11 in El Salvador to work. He later took adult education classes in California and easily passed his truck-driving classes at Sage Technical Services in Caldwell, Idaho.

Long-haul driving jobs are often the only ones available to new drivers. With seniority, they can move to positions closer to home.

After 32 years and 3.7 million miles behind the wheel, Jeff Thompson drives a tractor-trailer for FedEx but makes it home to his wife every night. Thompson, who lives in Kansas City, Mo., drives halfway from Kansas City to Chicago, where he meets a Chicago driver, trades trailers, then turns around and goes home.

"It took me a long time to get to this point, but I made it," said Thompson, an Oklahoma native who grew up driving farm trucks. He works 60 to 65 hours a week and makes $75,000 to $80,000 a year, he said.

"It's a good way to make a living, but it's a hard way to make a living," Thompson said. "When I started out in the 1970s, we used to travel all over the country, all 48 states."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A MeMe Questions Challenge (Ask A Trucker)

OK ... a challenge for all you truckers out there. Gi-Gi over at Gi-Gi Roxx answered some "MeMe" questions on her blog.

Since I'm not a truck driver YET, I'm going to challenge the drivers out there to answer them. So here is what we will do. If you have a blog of your own, copy the questions below, answer them and then come back an post a comment here with a link. If you don't have a blog, you can e-mail me the answers if you want (truckin.tedybehr (at) gmail.com). If you e-mail them, please let me know if it is OK for me to post your answers on my blog...it can be anonymous if you would like. If you have by chance already answered these questions on your blog, post a comment with a link.

So what do you think....up for the challenge? Good, I thought you would be.

(PS - If you haven't already, go check out Gi-Gi's blog.)

=============================


1. What is your favorite interstate to travel??


2. Pilot, T/A, Flying J or Loves??


3. If you had to travel cross-country (East-West or West-East) would you prefer to take the Northern Route (I-80 or I-90) or the Southern Route (I-10 or I-40)?


4. When driving, do you prefer to see the sunrise or the sunset?


5. Favorite state to drive through?


6. Least favorite state to drive through?


7. What do you think is the most truck friendly state?


8. What do you think is the least truck friendly state?


9. What is your favorite town to layover in?


10. Las Vegas, Reno or Atlantic City?


11. Atlantic Coast or Pacific Coast?


12. Favorite type of freight to haul?


13. Favorite company/industry to haul for?


14. Most annoying traffic related gripe regarding truck drivers?


15. Most annoying traffic related gripe regarding four wheelers?


16. Do you drive solo or as part of a team?


17. What kind of truck do you have and what color is it?


18. How many gears does it have?


19. Does your truck have a name?


20. Do any pets travel with you? If so, what kind and what are their names?


21. What is your favorite drive in the entire country?


22. What state do you currently live in and were you born and raised in that state?


23. What kind of trailer do you pull?


24. What is your favorite truck stop?


25. What jobs did you do before you became a truck driver?


26. Have you ever been to Canada and if so, which is your favorite Province/Territory? Why?


27. What type of weather do you dislike driving in?


28. What do you listen to while driving? Type of music, talk shows, etc.


29. Who is your favorite talk show host?


30. What is your CB handle?

=============================
** Edit **
Below are some links to some other bloggers, in no particular order, who have answered the questions. If I missed your post, let me know, I would love to add a link here.
(If anyone objects to me linking to their blog, please jet let me know and I'll remove it.)

Gi-Gi Roxx

All Things Bradbury

The Daily Rant (I think Salena is actually the one who started all of this...lol)

Lipstick Trucker

Trucking Tiger's Life on the Road

My Sometimes Daily Blog

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Expedite Expo scheduled for late July

I hope to see some of you there. If you find you can make it, let me know. I would love to meet up with ya.

Expedite Expo scheduled for late July

The 10th annual Expedite Expo is planned for July 23-24, 2010. The event will be held at the Roberts Convention Centre in Wilmington, OH.

The event features a number of driver workshops. Here’s the schedule:

Friday, July 23, 2010
10 a.m. Where´s the Freight? A Detailed Look at the Numbers
Stu Sutton, president, GPSNet Technologies Inc.
Franklin Room 1

11 a.m. Expedite Trucking 101 – The Essentials to Starting and Succeeding in 2010
John Mueller, safety director, Premium Transportation Logistics LLC
Franklin Room 2

1 p.m. The Road Map to Buying and Financing Your Truck
John Lalonde, truck specialist, Fyda Freightliner
Franklin Room 1

2 p.m. Keys to Successful Business Operations
Dave Corfman, fleet owner
Franklin Room 2

3 p.m. Extending the Life of Your Truck – A Fresh Look at Maintenance
Heath Wood, sales and finance manager, Middle Georgia Freightliner-Isuzu
Franklin Room 1

Saturday, July 24, 2010
11 a.m. Networking & Roundtable Discussion – Expediting in the New Economy
Host: Linda Caffee, ExpeditersOnline.com forum moderator
Franklin Room 2

1 p.m. Smart Economics: Idle-Reduction Tips, Tools & Facts
Ray Lawrence, president, Espar of Michigan Inc.
Franklin Room 1

2 p.m. Is It Time to Consider Your Own Operating Authority?
John Mueller, safety director, Premium Transportation Logistics LLC
Franklin Room 2

More show events
The show also offers entertainment for the whole family. For the third year in a row the troupe from the Amazing Portable Circus will be on hand to offer super skills and mind-blowing tricks. This year APC will feature Chris the Amazing Magician, A Living Elvis Statue, Fire Juggler, Stilt Walker and Eric the Caricature Artist.

Radio personality Dave Nemo will be broadcasting live from the Expedite Expo 2010 on The Open Road Channel 171 which is heard on XM Satellite Radio.

Live music will be provided by Pure Grain and the Radio Ramblers, who will perform on the new entertainment stage.

As with everything at Expedite Expo 2010 – including the parking – it’s free.

For more information and to register, visit www.ExpediteExpo.com or call 859-746-2046.

Comments With Links

I moderate all comments before I allow them to post to the blog. This is to make sure that spammers, hackers/crackers, etc aren't putting things that could effect me and my readers.

I do NOT moderate the comments to prevent comments that disagree with me, etc. If a comments is legitimate then I will approve it to be posted.

I've been getting comments lately on every post I make that contain links hidden in them. Since they are hidden, I consider them spam and I reject the comments. I don't mind links in the comments as long as they are relevant to the post or it is intended to be of use or interest to me and/or my readers.

If you want to include a link in your comment, don't hide it. Make if clear and give some info on what the link is.

I truely believe that those doing this are spammers, etc because each of them have had names containing oriental characters.

I welcome all comments...just keep it civil.

Thanks for reading.